15 Movie Villains Based On Real People

#1. Ruth Chandler (The Girl Next Door) – Gertrude Baniszewski
In the gross-out film The Girl Next Door (2007), the villain Ruth Chandler, a woman who tortures and has her children torture a young girl in the basement, is based on a real life woman who did the same thing to a real life young girl. Gertrude Baniszewski, the Indiana woman who provided the inspiration for Chandler, tortured and murdered teenager Sylvia Likens in 1965. While the violence in the film The Girl Next Door is more brutal for shock value, the fact that both character villain and real villain used a red hot needle to carve words into a young girl’s stomach, shows just how horrifying people can be. Probably the most unknown villain on the list, the acts done by this psychopath are also some of the most frightening.

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#2. Hannibal Lecter – Alfredo Ballí Treviño
The influence for Hannibal Lector has been attributed to several real life murderers including the ever-horrifying Albert Fish, but in 2013, the creator of Hannibal, Thomas Harris, revealed that Hannibal the Cannibal was actually based on real life physician and murderer Alfredo Ballí Treviño. Harris, like his character Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs, interviewed the madman about his crimes, specifically that of murdering his friend and lover and mutilating his body. Treviño was also suspected of killing and dismembering several hitchhikers in the 50s and 60s. The events of Hannibal’s crimes somewhat mirror these, and we can suspect that Treviño had some familiar traits as well. The more you know.

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